Last weekend, we packed our bags and headed to Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo! We have been there before a few times, but we’ve never experienced their Stingray Beach. The Stingray Beach is a zoo attraction that is only set up during the summertime and they give the guests and opportunity get up close to the stingrays, pet them, and even feed them. This was our first time there and we were beyond excited.
It took us a little while to figure out exactly how to hold our hands palm down to pet the stingrays, but once we all figured it out, we just couldn’t stop. My favorite part was Haddon’s face after he touch the stingrays. He would let out a loud squeal of excitement and pride. There are a few other attractions open during the summer, like a massive splash pad, but we will have to come back and try that on a different day.

The kids arms weren’t long enough to reach the rays, so we ended up laying them flat on the ledge. It seemed like a good idea until they stood up and we all realized that they were soaked. As most family affairs go, it’s all fun and games until someone has fish water all over them…

I can’t get over how much fun this was. The kids are still talking about it and we’re planning our next stingray visit very soon.

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I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful and refreshing this trip was for us.  It was our first time seeing the Rocky Mountains and our first time going on a hike as a family of five.  We had such a great time and the views were breathtaking. We drove about eight hours to the Denver airport to pick up my brother and sister in law and their beautiful baby Charlee (see video below).  One of my favorite memories by far is looking up as we drove into Denver and seeing the white caps on the mountains. Alex and I had a moment where we just held hands and looked at each other with excitement.


Our first excursions was the Piney River Trail. We had every intention of getting to the trail however it was closed.  So we ended up doing a smaller trail right next to it.  The drive up to the Piney River Trail was worth it.  There were a few areas where the road was winding and there were steep cliffs right next to our truck.  I wasn’t so crazy about the eminent danger, but I did enjoy seeing the cliffs, the trees and even snow on the side of the road.  We of course, pulled over and Alex and the kids had a snow ball fight. It was really fun seeing snow in the middle of June. I don’t think we ever got over that.

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From time to time, I take a minute to talk about our cute pooch Bauer.  He has been around for the past seven years and when it came time for us to leave our home in Florida, bringing him along with us was a must. This year, we all shared our first winter together and experienced snow for the first time. A few months ago, I shared a few tips on how we enjoy winter with our pooch and you guys requested more pictures and tips on how we hang out with Bauer.  So, today I’m sharing three tips on enjoying summer with your pooch.  We love our dog and treat him as a true member of our family. Some days he’s a little mischievous, but he’s loyal and so fun.

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I’ve been too hesitant to write this post for so many reasons. Everything in me wants to document this moment in time, but I haven’t been able to put my thoughts into words. Maybe it’s something about the way I was raised or my defense mechanism but I feel like if you don’t talk about it, then it’s not really happening. So, that’s where I am. I didn’t address this little lady’s birthday because I wasn’t ready for it. I’m still not ready for it. She’s no longer a tiny baby. No more sweet breastmilk breath, no more wrapping her little hand around my finger. No more tiny baby whimper. She’s ONE and ready to take on the world.

Oh Emmy.

You are a sweet sweet girl. You have three teeth poking out and a full set ready to make their way out. You smile bigger than my heart can handle and your curly hair is everything to me. According to your latest checkup, you are one tall girl. Which will come in handy when you’re playing sports. You are getting ready to take your first step but we all know you are taking your time and will do things at your own pace.

You are adventurous and are a climber (ahem… we can’t keep you in your crib anymore) I’m pretty sure you may have a future in gymnastics. You love sweet potatoes and these days I am sneaking in a hardboiled egg in your smoothie and you are all about it!

You can find all the tiny pieces of paper all over the house and somehow they end up in your mouth. But we all see you and you can’t keep a straight face when you’ve done something naughty. You love your brother and sister and will never turn down a hug from your brother Haddy. You are speedy when you’re crawling and we just can’t keep up with you when you’re on a mission to get somewhere.

You still haven’t figured out your relationship to Bauer. You guys had a bad encounter a few weeks ago and since then you’ve kept your distance. He’s still very protective of you and is always there to pick up your food scraps. Your grandparents love you to pieces and that thumb of yours puts you to sleep in a matter of minutes.

Sweet girl.

I want to remember every little detail of your face and how you crinkle your nose when you smile. I want to remember how you call out “mama” when you really need me and smile from ear to ear when daddy walks in the door. I want to remember how warm your little body gets when you drift off to sleep and the way you grab your ear when you’re really relaxed.

Oh mimi.

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